United Nations Ranks Ten Happiest Countries on Earth

A Worldwide Ranking Says Americans Aren't as Happy as We Used to Be

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The UN on Wednesday published an updated ranking of the happiest countries in the world. The Netherlands also managed to rank in this position past year.

People in Burundi are unhappiest with their lives, according to the survey of 156 countries, followed by Central African Republic (155), South Sudan (154), Tanzania (153) and Yemen (152).

According to the UN World Happiness Report 2018, the Netherlands is the 6th happiest country in the world.

The 10 happiest countries were also 10 of the top 11 spots in the rankings of immigrant happiness.

The report ranks countries on six key variables that support well-being: income, freedom, trust, healthy life expectancy, social support and generosity.

Good cheer might abound in Naples, Florida, but as a whole, the United States is lagging behind comparably wealthy nations when it comes to its residents' happiness. In fact, these four Scandi countries have held top spot since 2015 - Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and now Finland.

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Syria had the most miserable migrants, followed by Togo.

Nordic countries usually appear in the top five places but those that are hit with war as well as places in sub-Saharan Africa regularly appear at the bottom.

The United States came 18th, down from 14th place in 2017, while Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.

One of the major themes of this year's report was the intersection of migration and happiness, and countries were also ranked based on the happiness of their immigrants.

"The countries with the happiest immigrants are not the richest countries, but instead the countries with a more balanced set of social and institutional supports for better lives", the report states.

The report also analyzes areas that pose a unsafe threat to quality of life, focusing specifically on three health problems within its penultimate chapters: obesity, the opioid crisis and depression, all problems that are especially acute within the US, which tumbled four spots to the 18th place on 2018's list.

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